Following the declaration of former Senate President David Mark’s victory at the Benue-South senatorial re-run, a catholic mass has been held at his residence, in the morning, to celebrate his victory.
After the service, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain appealed to his main rival, Daniel Onjeh to join him in moving Idomaland forward.
“I want to thank all sons and daughters of Idomaland because this victory is for us not David Mark. I also want to urge those whose political interest might have clashed with mine to join hands with me in moving Idomaland forward. The Peoples Democratic Party has won the Benue-South rerun election, making its candidate, David Mark, return to the 8th Senate, from which the court ejected him a few months ago.
After Saturday’s election, David Mark was declared winner amid protests by his challenger, who demanded that the election be declared inconclusive.
The former Senate President defeated his sole challenger, Daniel Onjeh, a 41-year-old former students’ leader, who contested on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The re-run was conducted after the Appeal Court annuled the March 28, 2015 election of which David Mark was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Declaring the results of the rerun at 5.51am on Sunday, the Senatorial Returning Officer, Ishaq Eneji, said Mr. Mark garnered 84,192 votes while Mr. Onjeh who scored 71,621 votes, leaving a margin of 12,571 between them.
“Having satisfied the requirement of the law, David Bonaventure is hereby declared winner,” Mr. Eneji announced.
While 522,713 were registered for the election, only 165,093 were accredited, indicating voters apathy across the senatorial zone.
A further breakdown showed 159,557 was the number of total votes cast, of which 155,813 votes were held valid, while 3,744 were rejected as invalid.
According to the results declared by Mr. Eneji, out of the nine local government areas of which the district is composed, Mr. Mark secured victory in five local government areas: Ado, Agatu, Apa, Otukpo and Okpokwu.
Mr. Onjeh won in four, namely Ogbadigbo, his hometown, Ohimini, Obi and Oju LGAs.